Uncontested Divorce in Brevard County, Florida
Every divorce does not have to be fought out in court. It is faster and less expensive if your case can be settled out of court. A settlement is also less stressful emotionally. In general, if you and your spouse can agree on all issues in the divorce before a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, then you can have an Uncontested Divorce.
The most important step in an uncontested divorce is for you and your spouse to come to an agreement and for that agreement to be put into writing. The document is often called a Marital Settlement Agreement. The Marital Settlement Agreement should set out in great detail the exact agreement. A well-crafted agreement will be clear and enforceable. Ideally you and your spouse will talk and come to an agreement on all important issues. It is the family or divorce lawyer’s job to turn the agreement you work out with your spouse into a Marital Settlement Agreement.
Frequently in an uncontested divorce the parties think one divorce attorney can represent both the Husband and the Wife. This is not correct and even in an uncontested divorce a lawyer can only represent one party. Florida Rule of Professional Conduct 4-1.7 prohibits one divorce attorney from representing two clients who have adverse interests. In a divorce, even an amicable divorce, the interests of the parties are adverse. Divorces in Melbourne, Palm Bay, Titusville, Viera, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic and other areas of Brevard County can be handled by our family law attorneys and divorce lawyers.
Often one party in an uncontested divorce will hire a divorce lawyer and that lawyer will prepare the Martial Settlement Agreement. The other party will be provided a copy of the Marital Settlement Agreement for review. The other party can review the agreement themselves or, as is advisable, have their own family law attorney review the agreement. When all disagreements over the language of the Marital Settlement Agreement are worked out the agreement can be signed by each party.
A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage will need to be prepared by your divorce attorney and filed with the Brevard County Clerk of Court which has offices in Melbourne, Viera, and Titusville. A petition for an uncontested divorce is much simpler than a petition in a contested divorce. A petition in a contested divorce is a list of the issues a party wants the court to address. A petition in an uncontested divorce merely asks the court to adopt the Marital Settlement Agreement.
Both parties will need to prepare a financial affidavit listing their income, assets, and debts. The financial affidavits are filed with the Brevard County Clerk of Court and will be available to the judge at the Final Hearing. An Answer and Waiver and other documents will also be prepared by your Legal Eagles family law attorney.
Once all of the documents are ready a Final Hearing for an uncontested divorce can be set. Normally a divorce is handled by a Brevard County Circuit Court judge but if the divorce is uncontested a County Court judge can handle the Final Hearing. Usually a judge will be able to hear your case within two or three weeks in Viera, Melbourne or Titusville.
A Final Hearing in an uncontested divorce usually takes place in the judge’s chambers. Only one party needs to attend. The judge will review the documents and the attending party will be questioned.
Only three questions usually need to be asked at a Final Hearing.
- Is the marriage irretrievably broken?
- Has the attending party been a resident of the State of Florida for at least six months before the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage was filed?
- Have all issues between the parties been resolved in the Marital Settlement Agreement?
For the Court to accept that the marriage is irretrievably broken one party has to testify the marriage is broken and cannot be repaired. To prove the residency requirements a party can present a Florida Driver License issued six months before the petition was filed, or the testimony or affidavit of a person who can swear the party has been a resident of Florida for the required time period.
Once a judge is satisfied that everything is in order they will sign the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Once the Final Judgment is filed with the Clerk of Court your divorce will be final. As provided in Florida Statute 61.052(4) “A judgment of dissolution of marriage shall result in each spouse having the status of being single and unmarried.”
At the conclusion of the Final Hearing you will be provided with a copy of the Final Judgment. Keep the Final Judgment and Marital Settlement Agreement with your important papers. You may need to get a certified copy of the Final Judgment if you are changing your status with a governmental agency or with some employers. For a small fee the Clerk of Court will provide you with a certified Final Judgment.
The attorneys at Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley, LLC, have handled hundreds of uncontested divorces from Palm Bay to Titusville, Merritt Island to Viera we are here to serve you. Having a Marital Settlement Agreement that is clear, detailed and precise is crucial. If everyone understands what is expected, then the potential for future conflict is reduced. With decades of experience the divorce lawyers at Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden, & Kelley, LLC, can craft a Marital Settlement Agreement that is right for your case. We will also handle all of the little details so your uncontested divorce goes smoothly. Call today for a free consultation with one of our family lawyers in our Melbourne or Cocoa Village offices.